UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic looks to be on a collision course with upstart Francis Ngannou. Will Miocic make history, and become the first heavyweight to defend the title three times?
FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch Columnist
I think he will. Francis Ngannou is exciting and a breath of fresh air in the division, but Stipe Miocic has been through everything. He has been in wars and come out the other side stronger for it. He has faced adversity and rallied through it. It will not surprise me if Ngannou wins, but I think Miocic is the clear favorite in their fight. I think we get a brutal collision that ends the fight early, and I think Miocic comes out on top.
RICK MONSEY, MMATorch Columnist
I am on the Francis Ngannou bandwagon as much as anyone else, but I think Stipe Miocic would win this fight. Miocic has proven to be super durable and, in a five round fight, I think the champ will pull out the unlikely victory.
DAVE KOULA, MMATorch Contributor
I sound like a broken record on this, but the Heavyweight Division is crazy. Nothing ever makes sense and anyone can beat anyone, regardless of skill, experience, power, cardio, etc. Things just kind of happen. Both guys are on five or six fight win streaks in the UFC, which is pretty much unheard of. Whether one knocks out the other in 60 seconds, Stipe takes Ngannou into later rounds and beats him up into an exhaustion-based TKO, or it turns into one of those ugly heavyweight fights with very little action and goes to a close decision, none of those results would surprise me. My guess? Ngannou KOs him quick, but who the hell knows.
John Harris, MMATorch Contributor
I do not think so. Francis Ngannou made a believer out of anyone who doubted him with the devstating KO victory he scored over Allistair Overeem at UFC 218. Stipe Miocic is a great boxer and more complete fighter than Ngannou, but I do not think anyone can handle the punching power of Ngannou at this point. Eventually Ngannou is going to land at least one hard shot and that seems to be all that it takes.
RAFFAEL IGLESIAS, MMATorch Contributor
Stipe Miocic is quickly becoming the most accomplished heavyweight ever. Miocic is technically the better fighter and has all the ability to stop Francis Ngannou. Ngannou is a scary scary fighter with frightening power in his hands. Ngannou KO’d Overeem, destroying him with his off hand in one of the most brutal knockouts I have seen. Ngannou has the quintessential punchers chance, but Miocic’s overall game should get him the record.
JOSHUA GARCIA, MMATorch Contributor
Stipe Miocic is a great heavyweight and he will really be tested against the powerful Francis Ngannou. Having seen Stipe rocked several times throughout his career, I do not know if his chin will be up to the test of Ngannou’s power. Heavyweight’s have a hard time maintaining the title due to the size of the men they are fighting against. The power generated by these heavyweights just doesn’t make for a long sustainable run as heavyweight champion and Ngannou is off the charts with the power he has in his fists. No, Stipe Miocic will not break the UFC heavyweight title defense record.
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